New boss Nigel Clough will be backed with funds to spend “sensibly” in the January transfer window, co-chairman Kevin McCabe revealed.
Clough, who signed a two and a half year deal as United manager yesterday after concluding his severance talks with former club Derby County, replaces David Weir almost two weeks after the decision was made to dispense with the former Scottish international’s services.
The 47-year-old’s first game in charge will be at Bramall Lane on Saturday, against Crewe, and McCabe said: “Nigel is one of those characters we have known about for so long, and he has a fantastic reputation for his abilities both as a player and a manager.
“I have watched and admired his work at Derby from afar - they had similar problems to ourselves, with their huge wage bills from Premier League days.
“To get that down, and at the same time introduce young players to create exciting first-team football, is not an easy task and I think having Nigel here is a real coup for Sheffield United.”
Asked whether Clough, who cut his managerial teeth with Burton Albion before moving to Pride Park, would be given money to spend, McCabe replied: “That will come when Nigel has settled in, and realises what is necessary. But funds are available to use in a sensible way, to achieve success.”
Clough has forged a reputation as a manager who is keen to blood young players and counts Derby’s Will Hughes, now one of the brightest young talents in the English game, as one of his most notable success stories.
“When you’re involved in football, you do look - at a distance - at how other football clubs are run, and the people responsible for it,” McCabe added.
“Nigel’s job at Derby, to get the wage bill down and intergrate young players, is in keeping with our philosophy.
“We have a top-class academy and we expect our youngsters to make it through. This is a great club, and Nigel is here to look towards getting back to the Premier League within a sensible amount of time.
“There is a real aim and desire, from all of us here, to achieve success for Sheffield United.”
Clough, who admitted he was “disappointed and a little angry” with how his Pride Park tenure ended, played down suggestions of a promotion push this term: “Let’s be realistic,” he smiled.
“Let’s get out of the bottom four first, get some stability, and then get a squad together which can challenge.”
Nevertheless, Clough is well aware that promotion from League One - and then beyond - remains the ambition.
“One of the main attractions was the potential of this club,” Clough, who brings coaching staff Gary Crosby and Andy Garner with him from Pride Park, added.
“You go away from here thinking that this is a proper football club.
“The support is staggering.When you’re at a club that has 2-3,000 fans every week, you are limited in what you can do.
“But here, there is a lot of possibilities and potential.
“We have to get that support on board, harness it and see where it can take us.”
Chris Morgan, who led United on a temporary basis after Weir’s sacking, will remain as the club’s U21 coach.
Prince Abdullah, United’s co-chairman, said: “Chris Morgan embodies what it means to be a Blade, and during these last three matches Chris awoke in our lads a belief.
“That’s a foundation we can build on.”